Leopardo Completes 34,000-SF TAO Chicago Restaurant and Nightclub

Leopardo completed TAO Chicago. The project consisted of a 34,000-square-foot structural renovation and build-out of the 126-year-old historical landmark building at 632 N. Dearborn St. in Chicago, which once served as the original Chicago Historical Society.

Partnering with global hospitality company TAO Group and Chicago-based Four Corners Tavern Group, Leopardo helped bring the popular Pan-Asian restaurant and nightclub, with current locations in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, to Chicago. The hotspot features a 275-seat dining area, 7,000-square-foot nightclub space, custom ornamental iron spiral staircase, sushi bar, five custom-designed bars, two DJ booths and a 16-foot Quan-Yin statue sitting within a koi pond. Three large murals by the artist Hush are featured throughout the space, as well as custom furnishings and Asian relics, including antique Chinese doors, dragon columns, Buddha miniatures and more than 100 fortune cats called Maneki Neko.

Reinventing the historical building required a complex phasing strategy to sequence the demolition of all load-bearing walls while systematically and simultaneously erecting steel between the 30 shoring towers set where the walls once stood. Leopardo also successfully coordinated and incorporated specific designs from 12 different consultants, ranging from architectural, decorative and theatrical lighting to food service and exterior civil upgrades. Each consultant’s own flair contributed to the unique flavor that defines TAO’s trademark experience.

Leopardo collaborated with architecture firm SPACE Architects + Planners, Rockwell Group Interior Design, as well as developer Sterling Bay and Four Corners Tavern Group to complete the project.

Photo Credit: TAO Chicago/Warren Jagger